Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has approved New York’s plan to implement the Every State Succeeds Act (ESSA) after what New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has described as more than a year of collaboration and dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders. John Hildebrand noted in Newsday that DeVos approved 11 plans this week and that she has now approved 27 plans in total.
Hildebrand explains that the plan is intended to increase the number of students taking advanced courses and that it also intends to incentivize schools to have their students participate in mandatory state and math tests. He notes that the law requires that at least 95 percent of students participate in annual tests in English and math and states that the approval of the plan will mean a continuation of federal financial aid to the state, “which in New York State’s case totals about $1.6 annually.”
According to the Department of Education’s press release announcing the approval of the New York plan, the state hopes to bolster teacher effectiveness by “strengthening mentoring/induction programs, targeting professional development, or improving career ladders” and also intends to promote opportunities for students to take advanced coursework by creating “an advanced coursework completion measure in its accountability system.”
Ian Rosenblum, executive director of Education Trust New York, explained to WBFO radio that “the plan has a lot of potential to advance equity” since it “provides transparency for the first time on the school funding level gaps.”
Implementation is expected to be implemented by the spring according to a statement from the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
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